Always See Expanded Save Dialogs – Mac Kung Fu, 2nd Edition

Tip 294Always See Expanded Save Dialogs

This is a tip for those either who don’t have iCloud enabled (or don’t have the Documents & Data component of iCloud enabled) or who use a lot of apps that are not iCloud compatible.

In Save As dialog boxes, your Mac offers two modes when it comes to saving files onto your hard disk: compact and expanded (see Figure 44, Dialog boxes can be set to expanded (above) or compact (below) views). Compact size keeps things simple, deliberately offering few choices other than typing the filename, while the expanded size usually displays a file listing and various other options. You can switch between the two using the small down arrow next to the filename (or by hitting Command+=), but small size is the default unless the user changes it.

Your Mac will remember your choice for any particular application once the change is made, but it’s possible to force all Save As dialog boxes in all applications to always appear in expanded format, even for applications you haven’t used before.

Figure 44. Dialog boxes can be set to expanded (above) or compact (below) views.

Activating Large Dialog Boxes

To force save dialog boxes to always use large format, open a Terminal window (open Finder, select the Applications list, and then in the list of applications double-click Terminal within the Utilities folder), and type the following:

defaults write -g NSNavPanelExpandedStateForSaveMode -bool TRUE

Log out and then back in for the changes to take effect.

Reverting to Default

To revert to compact dialog boxes by default later, open a Terminal window, and type the following:

defaults delete -g NSNavPanelExpandedStateForSaveMode

Again, log out and back in again for the changes to take effect.